The San Diego solar industry just received a huge boost earlier this month. The Board of Supervisors agreed to update the local building code to require new residential properties throughout the county to come “solar ready.”
But what does that mean exactly?
For a home to be “solar ready,” it must:
- Come preinstalled with electrical panels that can accommodate at least 200 amps.
- Come pre-wired for both solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
- Have at least 250 sq. feet on south-facing rooftops for future solar panel installations
Needless to say, we love proposals like this.
A similar bill recently came out of France requiring new commercial rooftops to be covered with plants and/or solar panels. And we’d like to see more local, state, and national governments take such an aggressive position on solar readiness.
But not everyone is as happy as we are.
Supervisor Bill Horn went on record saying that he doesn’t think the Board should be able to tell developers how to make residential properties more attractive to buyers.
And of course, some developers fear that this new rule will increase construction costs, making it more difficult to sell homes.
Are such concerns legitimate?
Will Solar Ready Homes Be More Expensive?
It’s true that requiring homes to be solar ready will increase the cost. Current estimates put these extra expenses at about $300-$400 per property.
But there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Homes with solar PV technology installed have much lower utility bills. Some properties even make money from the grid.
- Solar-enabled homes historically sell more quickly than residential properties without PV technology.
- Solar-enabled homes usually have higher property values because prospective buyers factor future savings into the asking price.
And then you can also factor in things like carbon offsets and cleaner air. It’s hard to monetize these benefits, but who doesn’t want a more sustainable San Diego?
At the end of the day, the downside of solar readiness can be measured in hundreds of dollars. New homes will cost $400 more than they used to.
But the upside can be measured in tens of thousands of dollars – maybe more. We are talking about:
- Increased property values
- Reduced utility bills
- Major CO2 offsets
It’s really a no-brainer.
But what if you already live in a home – one that isn’t “solar ready?”
No problem. We can retrofit a customized, affordable solar PV installation to your existing rooftop – no matter how old your home is.
To learn more about going solar with Sunline Energy, contact us today for a free consultation.